Wednesday, 13 May 2009

[182] Lisztomania (1975) DVD Review

I'm quite proud of this one. I don't think I'm particularly good at that more subjective, expressive style of writing - I think I'm better at the boring aspects, such as straightforward analysis - but Lisztomania is the kind of film which inspires mad style. I think it came out quite well, and quite zinger-y.


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Mad genius Ken Russell's Lisztomania has been long out of print, and is now released by Digital Classics as a bare-bones DVD. The result is no lost classic, but it bursts with ambiguous inspiration and undeniable, indulgent excess.

Lisztomania is ostensibly a biographical picture of the notable 19th century composer and pianist, Franz Liszt (here played by erstwhile Who vocalist Roger Daltry). It follows his superstardom as a concert maestro, his numerous affairs, his desire to compose serious work, and his friendship with fellow radical Richard Wagner. However, Russell uses this tangible historical basis as an ever-diminishing basis for his expressionistic flourishes and barmy flights of fancy.

To rate this film in concordance with the current mode of film-reviewing method - acting, scripting, narrative coherence - would be a pointless endeavour. For the most part, Lisztomania fails as a traditional movie experience.


Read the full article here.

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